Indexed on: 27 Sep '12Published on: 27 Sep '12Published in: Experimental and Applied Acarology
The community structures of Mesostigmata, Prostigmata, and Oribatida in the soil of broad-leaved regeneration forests and conifer plantations of various ages were assessed alongside soil and plant environmental variables using three response metrics (density, species richness, and species-abundance distribution). The density and species richness of mites recovered swiftly after clear-cutting or replanting. Oribatid mites dominated the soil mite communities in terms of densities and species richness for both forest types. Soil mite communities in broad-leaved forests was related to forest age, the crown tree communities index, and forest-floor litter weight. In contrast, soil mite communities in the conifer plantation sites were related to various indices of understory plants. The development of the understory plants was synchronized with the silvicultural schedules, including a closed canopy and thinning. Such a conifer plantation management may affect indirectly the community of mites.